Almost half of people aged over 65 in Yorkshire and the Humber feel lonely, according to new research.
The statistics from charity Age UK also showed that loneliness isn’t just for geographical reasons and that we are an average of just 97 steps – or 50 metres – from someone aged 65 or over who is feeling lonely.
The results come after the YEP reported that four old people could die each day in Leeds this winter as a result of the cold weather and rising fuel bills.
Studies show that from 2011 to 2012, there were 2,100 excess winter deaths of people aged over 65 in the region.
To help keep older people in Leeds warm and well during the winter months, locals are being urged to take part in this year’s YEP-backed Leeds Abbey Dash.
Money raised at the 10k race on November 17, which is sponsored by Jet2.com, will go to Age UK’s Spread the Warmth campaign.
Lydia Curran, head of events at the charity, said: “Too many older people are suffering in the colder months so we’re urging people to help this winter.
“By signing up to the Leeds Abbey Dash you will help raise crucial funds for Age UK’s Spread the Warmth campaign and get fit at the same time.”
Some of the funds raised this year will help deliver the charity’s befriending service, which supports the city’s most isolated and vulnerable older people.
Money will also go towards winter benefit checks, handyperson services for older people, hot meals at local lunch clubs and home visits.
Age UK is urging older people and their friends and family to be prepared this winter and is urging MPs to support investment to boost the energy efficiency of older people’s homes.
To make a donation to the charity’s Spread the Warmth campaign, call 0800 169 87 87, visit www.spreadthewarmth.org.uk or donate £5 by texting WARMTH to 70004.
To get advice from Age UK, call their helpline free on 0800 169 65 65.
GET IN THE RUNNING AT ABBEY DASH
WHEN: November 17, 2013
Where: Leeds (starting at Wellington Street)
Distance: 10k event for adults and junior event for 8 to 15-year-olds
The course: Flat and fast, ideal for first time and experienced runners. Bibtag timing will be available for all entrants
Registration fee: £20 (£18 UKA affiliated) - all finishers will receive a limited edition Leeds Abbey Dash 2013 technical t-shirt. The Junior Dash is £6 to enter (ages from 8-15 years) and starts at 9am.
SIGN UP: Runners keen to sign up to the Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash should visit www.ageuk.org.uk/dash.
ENQUIRIES: For any questions or to find out more, email email@example.com or call 0800 169 87 87.